How to Make Your Own ATV Snorkel: DIY if you Dare

If you’ve ever taken your ATV into anything deeper than a foot or two of water, you know the consequences you can face. While you rip your ATV through the water everything is going great until you stall right in the middle and now you have to push yourself out.

To get through deeper water, you need a snorkeling kit and knowing how to make your own ATV snorkel might save you a lot of money in the long run.

That said if you don’t have a lot of experience with ATVs and you’re new to the game you might want to look towards a snorkeling kit. If you know nothing about snorkeling, don’t worry because we’ll break everything down for you.

What is a Snorkel for an ATV?

Snorkeling is the process of installing a specialized system on your ATV to prevent it from stalling or getting damaged in deep water. In a perfect world, it keeps the water from accessing the belt drive and air intake. Water will quickly ruin these components of your ATV, which will cost you a lot of money.

Part of the joy of having an “all-terrain-vehicle” is taking it off the terrain and into the water sometimes. You never know where the road may take you, and sometimes you’ll find yourself stuck between ending your ride or crossing the river.

We all want to cross the river, right?

Powering through might seem like a great idea at first, but it can do quite a bit of damage to your ATV if you don’t have the proper system installed. If you’re an ATV enthusiast, you might know how to make your own ATV snorkel, and you may already have one.

If you don’t, here’s what you need to know.

The snorkel does not suddenly turn your ATV into a submarine, but it allows it to breathe if your intake is fully submerged underwater. If the intake is underwater, it can’t send clean air to the engine, which causes stalling and rust for prolonged periods.

You may even need to snorkel other components like exhausts and electrical connections to prevent further damage.

Snorkeled ATVs have exhaust pipes on the front, and they have open portions that ensure they are high enough to remain out of the water at all times. You can have different sections of the ATV snorkeled like vents, housings, and exhausts so the ATV might have many snorkels sticking out.

Most commonly, the air intake snorkel runs from the airbox to the highest part of the vehicle.

Snorkeling your ATV will save you when you need it the most. If you take a lot of back road adventures and you never know where you’ll end up, you want to look into snorkeling your ATV.


When and Why You Should Snorkel Your ATVs

At this point, you might be wondering if snorkeling is necessary for you. Well, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys ripping through rivers and waterways without thinking about how deep it is, you’ll want to look into snorkeling your ATV.


I always think of it this way. If my ATV has the correct snorkels in place, I don’t have to worry about a thing. Nothing will slow me down, and I won’t have to think about taking any specific routes because I may get stuck or trapped with nowhere else to go. If you take your ATV out on trips a lot in unfamiliar territory, you want to snorkel it.

You also want to think about the potential damage you may cause to your ATV by not installing a snorkel system. There is also the matter of incorrectly installed snorkels on the ATV you buy. If you’re looking to find one with a snorkel system already included you might want to check out some online marketplaces and resources.


How to Snorkel Your ATVs

There are three primary components of every ATV that requires snorkeling if you plan on riding through water. Your airbox, clutch belt housing intake, and clutch belt housing exhaust. If you want to learn how to make your own ATV snorkel, you’ll need to use PVC pipe and have a little knowledge of your ATV.

It’s not a complicated process, but you will have to measure and cut the PVC yourself. Once you have everything installed, the ATV looks similar to a tractor with stacks in the front.

You might also want to consider snorkeling any electrical connections, vents, carb tubs, and crankcase breather tubes. I don’t recommend taking your ATV mudding and finding out how much water it can handle. If you think you might need to snorkel it, you’re better off doing it now to prevent permanent damage.

Remember, if you want to snorkel your ATV yourself, make sure there are no gaps or leaks because any water getting in will wreak havoc on your machine.


What About Snorkeling Kits?

There are tons of snorkeling kits available on the market, and they each serve a similar purpose. The kits exist to keep air flowing to the engine when the intake is entirely submerged, and they also sell kits for other components of the ATV too.

If you want to take your ATV to the depths and beyond you’ll want to look into snorkeling kits. These are much easier than making your snorkel, and you won’t have to worry as much about leaks.

Each snorkeling kit comes with complex instructions that explain everything you need to do, and some kits come already assembled, so the process is even easier.

Different snorkel kits are for specific brands. For example, motorcycle manufacturers like Honda and Kawasaki may each have their own kits, so you want to make sure you buy the right kit for your specific machine.

The kits will come with PVC pipes with grommets and bellows. Some come with silicon hoses and vinyl. The material you get in the kit doesn’t make that much of a difference, but many people believe that PVC is more resistant to corrosion and more affordable.

The more expensive kits have a steel crash plate. The plate helps prevent the snorkeling system from detaching from your airbox if you get into an accident. You’ll mount it to the rack, and it links the PVC to the exhaust vents.

In the best-case scenario, this prevents the entire system from failing. If you get into an accident and break one of the pipes, you’ll only need to replace the single piece, but everything else will be okay.

Some riders even use radiator hoses for their snorkels because they are flexible and won’t break as easy in the event of a roll-over. You want to make the best decision for yourself and your riding habits, so do some extra research and make sure you choose the right materials.


Pricing an ATV Snorkel Kit

If you’ve ever tried to look up the value of a vehicle or used motorcycles, you understand how you can have so many different prices for something that looks the same. Snorkel kits can be like this as well, and you want to get the best price.

The first thing you want to do when you’re shopping around is filter your search by brand because you want the right kit for your machine. Second, you want to filter by price. I find that in many cases you shouldn’t have to pay more than $300 for a great snorkeling kit for an ATV.

Lastly, you only want to buy from the most reputable dealer. You might save a few bucks by checking out the Facebook marketplace for used snorkels, but ideally, you want to get the materials from someone who understands what they are selling.

This factor is especially true for all of you other there who are new to ATVs and might not entirely understand. The last thing you want is for someone to take advantage of you and sell you something that isn’t the right fit.

If you’re in the market for an ATV snorkel, here are the final things you need to keep in mind. Getting the right snorkel for your model ATV is a must. You should always shop from a reputable dealer and compare prices whenever possible. Buying new is best, if it’s within your budget and only attempt a DIY project if you have the knowledge and skills to do the project safely.